While exercise makes us healthier, it can also lead to injury if we're not careful. Fortunately, workout injuries can be avoided. Here are several suggestions how:
Know your body's limitations
You should be familiar with your body's problem areas and avoid the activities that are going to affect or even aggravate them. For instance, if you know you have a back problem, then you should be wary of physical activities that can worsen it, like golf, basketball, or lifting weights. Does this mean you shouldn't ever engage in such activities? Not necessarily.
If you're dead set on pursuing these activities, you should first find out how to avoid getting injured while doing them. Following the example, if you really want to play golf, you'll have to properly strengthen your core muscles (i.e. the deep muscles of your torso), which includes your pelvis, hips, lower back, and abs. However, once your back is better through proper core exercises, you should still be careful and pay attention to what you're doing.
But what if you can't strengthen your problem areas? You'll just have to avoid the activities that strain them. It's either that, or get injured.
Warm up before each session
You'd be less likely to get injured if you warm up before your workout, and gradually ramp up the intensity and pace of your exercise as time passes. That's because warming up prepares your muscles to deal with the stress of the workout. This, however, is sometimes easier said than done because it's common for people to misjudge their capabilities, overexert themselves, and get injured in the process.
Remember: no matter what shape you're in, you should always reduce the intensity and pace of your physical activity when you start out.
Take lessons from a pro
One great way to avoid workout injuries is to take lessons from a professional trainer, who can teach you the proper techniques and form. This will help ensure that you'll do things correctly while working out and protect you from injuries. These lessons are also a great source of information as to how you can moderate your exercises and keep you from overexerting yourself.
Regulate your pace
Don't squeeze in an entire week's workouts into a weekend; this will result in overexertion and injury. You'll have to spread your workouts evenly throughout the week so that your body gets a balanced amount of exercise. Doing everything in a weekend also means your body doesn't get to recuperate in between the active days.
Increase the intensity in stages
You'll eventually want to increase your workout intensity, especially once your body gets used to it over time. Take note, however, that the increase should be gradual or risk the possibility of injury. For example, if you've decided to take up jogging, start by jogging for a minute, then walking the other minute. If you do this for two straight days without any pain/swelling, then increase to jogging for 2 minutes and walking the other minute. Just repeat the process and increase the number of minutes you jog by a minute. If you jump right to running for a mile on the first day, you can get injured or even pass out from overexertion.
Vary your exercises
One of the common causes of workout injuries is muscle overuse. To avoid this, exercise different muscle groups by performing a variety of low-impact physical activities such as swimming, biking, rowing, and walking. Remember to do these exercises moderately.